Articles | Volume 28, issue 7
Research article
08 Apr 2024
Research article |  | 08 Apr 2024

Elasticity curves describe streamflow sensitivity to precipitation across the entire flow distribution

Bailey J. Anderson, Manuela I. Brunner, Louise J. Slater, and Simon J. Dadson

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Cited articles

Allaire, M. C., Vogel, R. M., and Kroll, C. N.: The hydromorphology of an urbanizing watershed using multivariate elasticity, Adv. Water Resour., 86, 147–154,, 2015. 
Anderson, B.: bails29/Elasticity_curve_analysis: initial release of code for generating and analysing elasticity curve data (v1.1), Zenodo [code],, 2022. 
Anderson, B. J., Slater, L. J., Dadson, S. J., Blum, A. G., and Prosdocimi, I.: Statistical Attribution of the Influence of Urban and Tree Cover Change on Streamflow: A Comparison of Large Sample Statistical Approaches, Water Resour. Res., 58, e2021WR030742,, 2022. 
Andréassian, V., Coron, L., Lerat, J., and Le Moine, N.: Climate elasticity of streamflow revisited – an elasticity index based on long-term hydrometeorological records, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 4503–4524,, 2016. 
Bassiouni, M., Vogel, R. M., and Archfield, S. A.: Panel regressions to estimate low-flow response to rainfall variability in ungaged basins, Water Resour. Res., 52, 9470–9494,, 2016. 
Short summary
Elasticity refers to how much the amount of water in a river changes with precipitation. We usually calculate this using average streamflow values; however, the amount of water within rivers is also dependent on stored water sources. Here, we look at how elasticity varies across the streamflow distribution and show that not only do low and high streamflows respond differently to precipitation change, but also these differences vary with water storage availability.